The petite faerie left the next morning with a grim smile on her face. She
had not said goodbye to the kind Brucewife; that kind of thing wasn't her way.
She departed just as the sun came up, leaving a kind note and 75 NP for the
family who had lodged and fed her.
Tacy, as she had decided to call herself for the rest of this journey, didn't
know exactly where she was going, or for that matter, what she would do when
she got there, but she was determined to do what it took to restore her precious
Neggs to popularity again. For now, all she really knew was that she was that
she was storming through the woods on the outskirts of the little village at
the foot of Terror Mountain, filled with a blind rage at the cruel pet or person
who was doing this to the citizens of Neopia and the world.
After Tacy had walked off most of her frustration, she sat down on a fallen
log by the road and thought about the situation. She didn't know who would want
to do this, or why, but she now knew where she had to go. If any place in the
world had the means and the people to accomplish this terrible scheme, it would
be the Haunted Woods.
Tacy journeyed for two weeks, making her way over the oceans and through the
mountains that separated her from the Haunted Woods. Once she was there, though,
she hit another dead end.
"Excuse me," she finally called to a passing Jubjub.
He gave her a wary look. "What is it? I don't want to buy anything and I don't
fight in the Battledome."
"I just need to know who I could get good advice from. I'm from out of town…"
she trailed off, not wanting to get into her purpose for that once again unknown
reason. "Who's in charge here?" She finished lamely.
The Jubjub rocked back and forth thoughtfully. Tacy got the impression that
if he had had arms, he would have been scratching his head. Finally he looked
up at her. "I don't suppose anyone's really in charge, ma'am, but if it's advice
you're needing, I suggest you go see Edna.
She lives over there." He gestured toward a rusty-looking tower that was leaning
precariously to one side. "Good luck, though. If she's in a bad humour, she'll
just experiment on you." Then he ran away.
Tacy snorted. If Edna even tried experimenting on her… well, Tacy had powers
that would be rather useful in that kind of situation. She smiled to herself.
The little Jubjub was right, though. Edna the witch sounded like the person
"WHAT DO YOU WANT?" bellowed the voice of an old hag before Tacy even had
a chance to knock on the slowly disintegrating door.
"I NEED SOME ADVICE!" Tacy bellowed back, certainly not to be outdone.
"I'M BUSY!" was the irritated reply.
"TOO BAD, I'M COMING UP ANYWAY!" Tacy hoped this would be the end of it, since
she was rapidly losing her voice.
"All right then, let me put some tea on," said the voice Tacy assumed belonged
to Edna, in a surprisingly pleasant tone.
Edna's room was rather hard to move about in. The air was perfumed heavily,
and all sources of light were tinted blue or purple. Tables and chairs were
everywhere, and fires with pots and cauldrons bubbling over them were scattered
here and there throughout the room. All and all it was very dangerous. Edna
herself sat against the far wall, busily writing down a spell in a neatly kept
notebook. Tacy strode as purposely as she could through the clutter to face
Tacy decided to skip straight to the point. "What do you know about the person
who is controlling the Negg market?" she demanded, turning her sternest face
on the green-skinned old woman.
"Oh that? I was always rather proud of myself for that. I'm the one you're
looking for, I believe."
Tacy was extremely surprised, but her serious nature wouldn't let her show
it. "Why?" She demanded quite calmly.
"For the money, naturally, my dear. How much do you think I'm making, giving
away all these rare artifacts to the thousands of pets who most kindly go questing
for my spell ingredients each day? Nothing! Nothing at all! I'll be the first
to tell you, dear, that there is absolutely no profit in being a witch. I needed
a little income on the side."
The faerie groaned inwardly. This quite obviously was not going to be easy.
"Well, I don't suppose there's any way I can negotiate with you? What you're
doing really isn't fair or just, and you're upsetting everything I've ever worked
Edna looked at her quizzically. "You don't expect that to bother me, do you?
I need this operation for my own purposes. If you want your Neggs back, you'll
have to take them by force."
Tacy didn't especially like fighting, but it didn't appear that she had any
choice. Her hand slowly and imperceptibly went to the Bag of Infinite Neggs
that always hung at her waist. Then, quickly, she drew out three Silver Knight
Neggs and threw them with perfect accuracy at the witch. She muttered the words
of a Faerie-spell, changing the Neggs as they flew. The Negg-arrows struck true.
The old crone was now pinned to the wall by three tiny pinches of skin.
"Give it up, Edna," said the Negg Faerie, more than a hint of steel in her
The hag's eyes twinkled at her. She didn't appear to be phased at all. "There's
nothing you can do to me, deary. I'm immortal. However, I have to utmost confidence
in my operation. If you can break through, capture a single Negg, and prove
to me that you didn't pay for it, I'll consider the market too flimsy for my
uses and you can have your Neggs back." And with a sly wink, she vanished. The
arrows fell to the floor.
To be continued…